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Caithness News Bulletins October 2003

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Caithness Walking Festival 15 - 23 May 2004
"2004 will go down in history as being the year in which the first Caithness Walking Festival took place. As a follow up to recent press trips to the north by journalists from a range of publications, organised by the Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board, the festival will take place during the week 15th to 23rd May. That week was decided upon for several reasons - the first being the climate - May is generally a good month in terms of lack of rainfall.  Secondly, there is a wide variety of both migrating and resident birds for visitors to enjoy on the coastal walks, thirdly most tourist and visitor centres are open. Most importantly there are no midges!

It is hoped that the festival will be a boost for local tourism and the economy in general. Traditionally there is a downturn in tourism trade after Easter, and there is a window of about 5 weeks before the season gathers pace.  The event is being organised by the Tina Irving from Dunnet Head, the Waybaggers, the Caithness Field Club, and Ron Pratt (a professional guide).  The group met last Saturday to prepare the groundwork for the event.  All the walks will be guided by experienced and knowledgeable guides.  Information will also be available from the Dunnet Head Information Point regarding tracks in the Dunnet area and the Forest Enterprise land.

The festival has the backing of the Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board and VisitScotland, and will be marketed via some of their publications.